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NOAA awards $44 million for climate research to improve community resilience
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NOAA awards $44 million for climate research to improve community resilience

NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO) has awarded $44.34 million for 73 new projects designed to help advance the understanding, modeling, and prediction of Earth’s climate system and to foster effective decision making.

The projects, ranging from observing systems in the tropical Pacific Ocean to on-the-ground community-based research institutions, will be conducted by NOAA, universities, and other agency and research institutions.

Some anticipated outcomes include more accurate forecasts, early warning hazards of drought, more robust decision support services, enhanced community and drought preparedness, and improved ability to respond and adapt to climate-related public health impacts.

The funds will be distributed over the life of the projects, many of which are multi-year. All awards were selected in an open, competitive process. With these new awards, CPO expands the breadth and scope of NOAA’s climate research, products, and services, and offers opportunities for collaboration within and integration between programs.

“Climate change and extreme events impact individuals, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and around the world. The people grappling with these environmental challenges want timely and relevant information on how climate variability and change affects human and natural systems,” said Wayne Higgins, director of the Climate Program Office. “With these grants, we help advance understanding of the Earth’s climate system, and put information into the hands of those who need it.  Overall, these activities are contributing to healthier populations, sustainable fisheries, resilient inland and coastal communities, and a more robust economy.”

The new projects support these priorities:

●      Improve the understanding of the  El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), its prediction, and how it affects Earth’s weather and climate, $4.5 million to advance the readiness of new ocean observing platforms and assess their potential to enhance the international Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS 2020). 

●      Improve the understanding of the ocean and the air, $11.9 million—including $6.5 million to support the Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environment Experiment (FIREX), which investigates emissions and chemical transformation resulting from wildfires in the western U.S. 

●      Help transition research into operational models, products, and services to improve weather and climate prediction, $12.14 million—including $6.7 million to help advance the prediction of phenomena occurring between current weather and seasonal predictions. 

●      Provide leadership and support for research, assessments, and climate services development activities, $15.8 million—including $11.6 million for the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Programs in Alaska, the Carolinas, and the Mid-Atlantic— to improve the expertise and ability of managers and planners to prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change.

CPO manages competitive research programs, which fund climate science, assessments, decision-support research, modeling improvements, transition of research and capacity-building activities in four complementary areas: observations and monitoring; process understanding and analysis; modeling, predictions, and projections; and societal interactions.

CPO’s network of partners, specialists, and principal investigators will integrate and transition research findings from these projects into applications  to help build resilience in the face of climate challenges. 

A full list of awards, as well as individual announcements for each program, is available online at:

For more information, please contact Monica Allen, director of public affairs at NOAA Research at 301-734-1123 or by email at

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.


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